IBRV (Novel) Chapter 4

C 4




There was a truly cold silence.

No matter what people said, the face of Duke Miriel, who recited their mistakes with indifference as if rapping under the name of his family, was also momentarily embarrassed.

"I'm doomed."

I bowed my head and clenched my fists.

All eyes were on me.

My heart was racing.

I was so nervous that a cold sweat ran down my back.

I gripped the hem of my dress to calm my ragged breathing and the tinnitus buzzing in my ears.

"...... Do you want to leave this house?"

Duke Miriel, who was the first to regain his senses, opened his mouth as if wondering.


"Is that the plan?"



Duke Miriel asked as if he was very curious.

There are many reasons, but it's impossible to say them right away.

"I've learned of a birth secret..."

While I thought of an appropriate response, my tongue, terrified again, lost control of my brain.


I'm going crazy.

"A birth secret?"

As if that word aroused curiosity, not only Duke Miriel but everyone else's gaze reached me.

I made eye contact with Duke Miriel as much as I could, keeping my eyes wide open to avoid any mishaps.

Then, Duke Miriel's eyes narrowed slightly.

"Are you saying there's a birth secret in this family that I don't know?"

He asked as if in a hurry.

"Yes... Grandfather doesn't know..."

Of course, I know all the secrets because I read the novel, but he doesn't.

No matter how thorough, not even my father, who was called the shame of an aristocratic family, would have had a blood test.



Suddenly, the surroundings became silent.


In a good mood, I reflexively raised the corners of my mouth and smiled energetically.

Then, Duke Miriel's eyebrows, which had stopped for a moment, furrowed.

"I won't be hated if I smile."

It was one of the truths I learned in my life.

"Alright, what secret?"


I swallowed hard.

Then, I seemed to hear someone around me swallowing hard as well.


I took a deep breath to avoid the lizard incident.


Then I heard sighs around me, and suddenly tap, tap, tap. There was a knocking sound on the desk.

As if impatient.

I struggled to shake off the anxiety while making my presentation, jumped up and down in my seat, took a deep breath again, and carefully opened my mouth.

"That is."

When I looked to the side nervously, the necks of the people sitting in the conference room somehow stretched forward.

Is that all? Somehow, the way people were looking at me resembled the market ladies watching the latest drama.


Maybe that's why I was so nervous that I couldn't say anything more.

"I've always been a complete mess with presentations!"


It was when I was about to finish speaking.

"My lord! A major problem has occurred."

A soldier interrupted me and rushed in.

"We're in the middle of the New Year meeting, what's going on?"


The shouts of Duke Miriel overlapped with the sound of a sigh from somewhere.

Duke Miriel turned his head fiercely with an angry expression. The soldier running on impulse hesitated.

"It seems that the floating stone mine collapsed, trapping some workers and the manager."

"What? How do they handle safety management?! Are there casualties?!"

"Up-until now, there have been no fatalities, and it has been determined how many workers were injured."

As soon as he finished speaking, Duke Miriel stood up, looked at me, and then stood up with a growling expression.

"The New Year meeting will be held again in a few days, so until then, everyone must stay with the family for a while."


People with strong military discipline jumped from their seats and raised their voices with attention, fearing sparks would fly.

Duke Miriel, who was about to leave while receiving a report from the soldier, paused for a moment.

"You, you, you, and you."

The Duke's fingers pointed at some of the nervous family members. The faces of the accused turned white.

"I won't say much, you lazy trolls without answers. Clean your necks and follow me."

"M-my lord...!"

One of the pointed individuals called out to him with sadness, but as soon as the Duke's fierce gaze reached them, everyone closed their mouths and rushed to stand before him, bowing their heads.

"Ah, you're mocking me right now."


"Aren't you cleaning your necks? Why not? Should I clean it myself?"


They quickly rummaged in their pockets, pulled out handkerchiefs, and rubbed their necks.

Those who didn't have a handkerchief quickly borrowed one from a nearby person and wiped themselves.

I was staring fixedly at the figure with military discipline standing upright, but this time, the Duke turned his head and looked at me.


"Yes... Yes!"

The call surprised me, so I raised my voice to a squeak while covering my neck.

Then, I bit my tongue.



Perhaps it was because I was so surprised that tears filled my eyes without me realizing it.

"I don't have a handkerchief..."

I quickly covered my neck with my hand and whispered softly.

I did my best, but I couldn't keep from crying in my voice.

"I'm this small..."

I felt a visceral fear standing in front of someone infinitely taller.

As if he had heard my cry, Duke Miriel didn't move from his seat with a stiff expression.

"Is he angry...?"

All eyes were on me.

I knew I had to move fast, but my body wasn't cooperating easily.

"I shouldn't cry, but... ... ."

Even if I didn't, I was still a Suin who wasn't even from this family's lineage. There were many reasons I would be hated since I lived alone, so I shouldn't accumulate more karma here.

I bit my lower lip, trying to relax the hand covering my neck, then barely raised the corner of my trembling mouth.

"I don't have one..."

I must have looked very sad, so people nearby handed me their handkerchiefs with pitying expressions on their faces.

Even the soldier on guard nearby held out a carefully embroidered heart-shaped handkerchief, which he had taken from deep within his chest.

As there were only ten handkerchiefs in front of my nose, I took the closest one with both hands.

Everyone was looking at me with sad expressions, as if wishing a long life for someone about to die. But seeing that made me even sadder.

"Thank you..."

I bowed in gratitude and quickly moved away.

I forgot to wipe my neck and stood next to the people who were staring at me, head bowed.



Everything was silent.

As I was about to wrap the crumpled handkerchief and carefully bring it to my neck.

Suddenly, the handkerchief was gone!

In fact, someone had snatched it.

"You... Ahem! When did I ask you to clean your neck? The next meeting will start with you, so think carefully about what to say!"

His voice sounded hoarse, or was it my imagination?

"I'm not going to die...?"

"What's the point of killing something as small as you?! Where could I use it? Small, thin, soft things like you can't even be used as livestock feed!"

At those words, my face grew even paler.

"Are these people going to become food...?"

As expected from Duke Etham, where people die every day. Moreover, in a fantasy world, anything is possible.

Duke Miriel pursed his lips several times and clenched his fists.

"How the hell do you see me?"

How do I see him...?

What is he asking? Is it about how I address him? Or does it have some abstract meaning? Speaking of the latter, it didn't seem like it should be called a villain.

Anyway, it probAnyway, it probably isn't the case in this atmosphere.



Silence reigned once again.

The people who were cleaning their necks seemed to be staring at me now with their mouths agape, but because my field of vision was so narrow, I couldn't even see it.

Sniff, sniff.

Wiping away the mucus flowing from my nose, I carefully looked at Duke Miriel.



His shoulders trembled.

Wasn't this it?

"My lord?"

"Ahem, that's it, little fluffy thing! See you in a few days."

Doesn't that mean I'll die in a few days?


The day's meeting ended in a chaotic atmosphere.

* * *

"Why did I do that...?"

Today, as soon as I opened my eyes early in the morning, I buried my face in a pillow and kicked the blanket over the dark past that came to mind.

After struggling with my dark past for a long time, I went for a short walk after eating a meal that Mayla prepared and indulged in a lot of pudding.

In order to figure out the escape route, I roamed various places every day, using the excuse of taking a little stroll.

And the place where I ended up today was a chair in the garden that I stumbled upon.

"Oh? Are you her, aren't you? You're the one who cried in front of the Patriarch, right?"

A boy who looked a couple of years older than me pushed his face in front of me while holding a ball in his hand.

"...No, I didn't cry."

"Well, honestly, it would be understandable. So, what are you doing here all alone?"

"...just walking."

I replied as I sat on the bench and hugged my knees a little.

"Is that so? Aren't you bored? Do you want to play with us?"

The freckled boy with chubby cheeks approached me.ably wasn't the case in this atmosphere.


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